Lots of birds out on this gorgeous day at Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby, BC.
Vireo of some sort?
I watched this heron fish for nearly half an hour — it was notching a success rate upward of 80%!
We built this little shelter for our balcony and installed a mason-bee release box, and two containers of paper tubes that Yumi patiently rolled using bee-whisperer Joe Sadowski’s exact instructions as to proper sizing. He provided us with several dozen tubes, and a dowel to fashion our own.
Little bee station I made from scrap lumber saved in our garage. Nothing fancy, just a bit of shelter from rain. I had some old paint from painting a bedroom over ten years ago, and by chance it matches our siding :-).
Joe’s bee-release box at upper left — fashioned from a small plant container. A wooden box I made at center, and a pop-bottle tube holder Joe made on the right.
And within hours of taking cocoons out of their over-winter storage in the fridge, we’ve got action!
Yumi rolled over a hundred tubes in one evening!
Mason bees do not provide honey, but they are super pollinators, and are very docile and people-friendly.
I’d like to thank the City of Burnaby Parks Dept. for getting us started with mason bees a few years ago with their “adopt a mason bee condo” program in which volunteers were trained to monitor and maintain boxes supplied by the City and installed in municipal parks and schoolyards.
A few mason bee resources:
Suzuki Foundation How to Harvest Mason Bee Cocoons
West Coast Seeds A Year in Mason Bee Keeping
Bee Diverse — If you’re not handy and want to buy all your supplies this is a good source. Many garden shops also carry mason bee gear.
Yesterday, Yumi and I spent a wonderful evening with mason-bee whisperer and native-plant gardener Joe Sadowski. Thanks for the personal tutoring and inspiration!
We even got several plants to take home!
Today I put my basic carpentry skills to the test (earning at best a “C”), and made two additional boxes.
I’ve never been a cabinetry or finishing type of carpenter, if I may call myself a carpenter at all — more of a demolition and framing, roughing in, kinda guy.
But while not pretty, they’re functional.
Yumi and I headed down to Stewart Heritage Farm in South Surrey, BC, today to walk the trails and were rewarded with lots of birds and other critters.
The highlight was a pair of owls that Yumi spotted in silent flight through the woods. She saw where they perched so I could get in and get some shots. Thanks!
Photographer goofing around. . . Photo by Yumi.
We spent several hours wandering the trails at Centennial Beach in Delta, BC, today.
Couple of tree swallows duking it out over prime real estate : -)
We saw several Northern Harriers
Crows hate raptors — when the harrier landed in the field this sentinel came to check it out
Invasive Red-Eared Slider in the pond near the playground
A handsome crow
Let’s play “spot the bunny”
We enjoyed fresh air and lots of signs of spring on a 2-hour ramble in Campbell Valley Regional Park today.
We’ve always enjoyed hand-feeding chickadees in the park, but this is the first time we pulled in a Red-Breasted Nuthatch.
The feeling of a wee bird’s claws clutching one’s finger is pure joy!
Doing the wormhole space-jump thing. . . : -)
A sign at a trail crossing said flooding ahead, but we had to go see for ourselves : -)
Trilliums — I think these are protected in BC
Busy as a . . .
Funny how the stars align now and then. Today is the 10th anniversary of my Mom’s passing. She spent over 30 years in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, retiring as Assistant Dean, Student Affairs.
And just now in my email box I see an invitation to a “Millions of Memories” College of Education Alumni Event (I did a B. Ed. there way back when).
Mom would advise me to “do” rather than “stew”, so despite the gray, rainy day, I’m going to go for a long walk before dinner.
A link to an old blog post with Mom’s obit. (Hm, some wonky characters have popped up in there…)
I was grateful to be invited to DFO Community Advisor Maurice Coulter-Boisvert’s retirement lunch today in Burnaby. Dozens of representatives from the stewardship volunteer community and DFO staff celebrated his over 35 years of service.
Maurice is a wonderful person, and has done so much for so many years in mentoring and supporting the volunteer community in BC’s lower mainland.
Took advantage of the break in the soggy weather to head up the 99 and poke around in the Squamish, Brackendale, Paradise Valley Road area.
Signs of spring!
Harlequin ducks at Porteau Cove
Streamkeepers are always looking for water critters ‘n fish
Old logging truck
In my latest post for the Editors’ Weekly blog I review basic computer terms that are key to asking questions about hardware or software issues.
Basic Computer Terms for Writers and Editors